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Mental Health in Children's and Young Adult Literature

This guide provides book lists of youth titles addressing anxiety, autism, depression, eating disorders, grief, learning differences, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, substance abuse & addiction, and general feelings awareness.

About Eating Disorders

'When you become so preoccupied with food and weight issues that you find it harder and harder to focus on other aspects of your life, it may be an early sign of an eating disorder. Studies suggest that 1 in 20 people will be affected at some point in their lives. Although eating disorders are commonly associated with women, men can develop them as well."

-National Alliance on Mental Illness

Anorexia Nervosa

"With anorexia, a person will deny hunger and refuse to eat, practice binge eating and purging behaviors or exercise to the point of exhaustion as she or he attempts to limit, eliminate or “burn” calories. The emotional symptoms of anorexia include irritability, social withdrawal, lack of mood or emotion, not able to understand the seriousness of the situation, fear of eating in public and obsessions with food and exercise."

- National Alliance on Mental Illness

Bulimia Nervosa

"Someone living with bulimia will feel out of control when binging on very large amounts of food during short periods of time, and then desperately try to rid him or herself of the extra calories using forced vomiting, abusing laxatives or excessive exercise. This becomes a repeating cycle that controls many aspects of the person’s life and has a very negative effect both emotionally and physically. People living with bulimia are usually normal weight or even a bit overweight. The emotional symptoms of bulimia include low self-esteem overly linked to body image, feelings of being out of control, feeling guilty or shameful about eating and withdrawal from friends and family."

- National Alliance on Mental Illness

Picture Books

Books for Tweens

Books for Teens